By the People Project launches local events

Group aims to engage citizens, enhance dialogue about America's role in the world

Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Ten community organizations have joined forces to encourage Juneau residents to learn more and talk more about foreign policy issues that affect them as Juneauites and Americans.

By the People-Juneau is part of a national By the People initiative intended to engage citizens and enhance the national dialogue about America 's role in the world.

The Juneau groups are sponsoring a full calendar of local discussion groups, forums, fi lms and speakers throughout the spring to give local residents the opportunity to talk to each other and learn about the relevance of foreign policy issues to local concerns.

"The sole purpose of the project is to promote informed dialogue," said Sandra Strandtmann of the Juneau chapter of the Alaska Library Association, one of the local partners. "By the People-Juneau supports no particular positions, policies or perspectives."

Other partners include Juneau World Affairs Council; League of Women Voters Juneau; Global Connections at the University of Alaska Southeast; Juneau-Douglas High School Model United Nations; UAS Humanities Department; Juneau People for Peace and Justice; Perseverance Theatre; and KTOO.

By the People-Juneau began last year when KTOO-TV was chosen as one of 15 public television stations around the country to receive a grant to produce programming and encourage local involvement in the national dialogue about foreign issues. The half-hour program "Juneau:Our View of the World," produced by KTOO and based on interviews of Juneau residents, premiered last month on Alaska One and is being used as a resource in a number of local discussion groups. A live stage performance, "Juneau in the World," based on the same interviews, is being produced by Perserverance Theatre and will be performed over three nights at the end of April.

"With our partners we want to create a wide range of opportunities for Juneauites to debate and discuss our country's foreign policy options," said Jim Mahan, project coordinator for KTOO. "We hope it will make people realize their opinions count and there are ways to make their voices heard."

The national initiative, By the People: America in the World, is produced and administered by MacNeil/Lehrer productions with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS. For more information go to www.by-the-people.org, or www.ktoo.org.

By the People calendar

Monday, May 10

Lecture: U.S. Relations with the European Union

Dr. Simon Serfaty, professor, Old Dominion University; director of European Programs, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Sponsor: Juneau World Affairs Council

5:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. talk, Dimond Courthouse

Contact: Bob Schroeder, 586-7895

www.jwac.org

Friday, May 14

Lecture: Japanese consul general

Sponsor: Juneau World Affairs Council

5:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. talk, Dimond Courthouse

Free, open to the public

Contact: Rory Darling, 463-4861

www.jwac.org

Thursday, May 20

Lecture: Current International Broadcast Bureau Initiatives Worldwide

Seth Cropsey, director, International Broadcast Bureau

Sponsor: Juneau World Affairs Council

5:30 p.m. reception,.6 p.m. talk, Dimond Courthouse

Free, open to the public

Contact: Rory Darling, 463-4861

www.jwac.org



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